February 19, 2009

Swedish Apple Pie Cake

So this recipe came from my grandmother June, the best ever grandma who loved to spoil her grandkids, but also happened to be a fabulous cook. She has had some pretty amazing homemade treats come out of her kitchen. Her coconut cake is my favorite...and that will be a featured in another post soon. But for now.....let's focus on this very quick and easy dessert. It has a cake like consistancy and is very light. Oh my yumminess!!!!! Oh, and did I tell you how quick this is to make. It takes just minutes to mix the ingredients together. Ok, so it took me about 5 minutes to peel, core and dice the apples...but hey...did I tell you how quick this is. This most certainly is a great dessert to make with your kids. The best thing is that they can say they created a homemade dessert.

This can be garnished and served in so many different ways....In fact, the next time I make this, I'm going to serve it with a caramel sauce on the side. Oh my......I can't wait!

Happy baking!

Wine Pairing: This would be great with an Icewine. Try Inniskillin 2006 Icewine. If you like dessert wines...you will love this!

Look for a post soon dedicated to my passion for Icewines.

Swedish Applie Pie Cake

1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup walnuts or pecans chopped
2 cups apples peeled and diced

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 10 inch pie plate.
Put first 6 ingredients into a bowl and stir all together. Once combined add your vanilla extract, nuts and apples. Stir until all combined and pour mixture into your buttered pie plate.
Bake for about 30-35 minutes. Your cake will puff up a little and a toothpick should come out clean.
Let rest about 30 minutes and serve warm with ice cream or also good at room tempature.

I think that you will like this one!

February 15, 2009

Lemon-Cornmeal Cake

If you are looking for something different in a cake, then you must try this one. I got this recipe from Woman's Day magazine. It's so perfect, that I found no reason to alter it. What I love about this cake is that it's not too sweet because of the addition of cornmeal, and the yogurt makes it super moist. The best part is that my husband loved it, and he is usually not a cake person.

Instead of the sugar glaze, you would also have a winner with a chocolate ganache drizzle.
I know you will enjoy this one as much as we did!

Lemon-Cornmeal Cake

Baking spray (cooking spray with flour)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 tbsp grated lemon zest
1/4 cup lemon juice (about 2 smalls lemons)
4 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt, stirred to loosen
Sugar Glaze
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice

Heat oven to 325 degrees. You'll need a 10-cup decorative tube pan or a 12-cup Bundt pan coated with baking spray. In medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder and soda, and salt.
In large bowl beat butter, sugar, lemon zest and juice with mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time until blended. With mixer on low, alternately beat in flour mixture and yogurt until batter is smooth. Scrape into prepared pan; level top with spatula.
Bake 55 to 65 minutes until a wooden pick inserted in cake comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on wire rack for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the sugar glaze:
Whisk glaze ingredients in a small bowl just until combined (sugar will not be totally dissolved). Invert cake from pan onto rack; place rack over a baking sheet. Brush glaze all over hot cake until absorbed (sugar crystals will be evident). Cool completely. Transfer cake to a serving plate and cover. Let cake rest several hours, or overnight, before serving. Store cake covered at room temperature up to 4 days. Cut into thin slices to serve.

Tip: Use lime zest and juice for a zesty alternative.

If you are in the mood for a Chocolate Ganache drizzle, this is a simple one:
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 1/2 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped (preferably 70 percent cacao)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened

Bring cream to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Pour cream over chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Let stand for 2 minutes. Add butter, then whisk mixture until smooth. Let cool, stirring often. Use immediately.

February 10, 2009

White Bean Dip

One of my favorite dips has to be a simple white bean dip. It is such a cinch and takes no time at all to make. Most of us have the ingredients in our pantry which makes it an easy go to if you are in need for a quick appetizer. It is also very versatile, meaning you can add different ingredients to it to change it up a bit. It's a great dip for veggies, pita chips and tortilla chips.
Just a little something different to add some variety to your sandwiches, try using this as a spread instead of your everyday mayo or mustards.

Easy White Bean Dip

1 can white beans drained and rinsed
1/2 garlic clove
zest and juice of 1 lemon
handful of flat leaf parsley
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
3 tbsp of a fruity extra virgin olive oil

Add everything but the olive oil to a food processor and pulse until combined. Once combined, add your olive oil through the feeder tube while processor is still on. You can add more olive oil if prefer a thinner consistency.
Serve and enjoy.

For some variety, add the following:
4 ounces cream cheese
1 package of boursin cheese (I especially like this with crackers)
Half a jar of roasted red peppers in water
3 tablespoons of olive tapenade

February 8, 2009

Turkey Cottage Pie (Shepherds Pie)

When I met my husband almost 12 years ago, he was new to this country and I wanted to make him a dish that would give him a taste of home, as well as bring a little comfort to our taste buds. This is the dish that I chose to perfect for him. Having made this many times over, we finally got the seasonings right where we like it, and to us, when we think of comfort food, this is the first dish that comes to mind. You can almost liken it to meatloaf, mashed potatoes and gravy, except this dish is packaged a little differently, where it's all snug and cozy and served in casserole form.
This is my version of a Shepherds Pie, which traditionally is made with lamb or mutton, hence the name. When another meat is substituted, it is then considered a cottage pie by the English and Australians. Ground beef is typically used here, but we have been enjoying the healthier benefits of ground turkey. Cubed beef chunks could also be used here if you desire a meatier bite. Another yummy touch would be to add some cheddar cheese over the top in the last 5 minutes of cooking.
Once you try this, you will know what I mean when I say this is one of the ultimate comfort foods.

Wine Pairing: A hefty Zinfandel would be a nice compliment

Turkey Cottage Pie
Serves 6-8

1 tbsp olive oil
1 pound ground turkey
1 onion chopped
1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp dried mustard powder (can use regular mustard)
2 tbsp ketchup
1 can low sodium beef broth
1/2 tsp gravy master seasoning
1 package frozen peas and carrots

Mashed Potatoes
4 large potatoes
4 tbsp butter
1/4 cup milk or cream
salt and pepper
Peel and quarter potatoes and boil in salted water until fork tender. This will take about 25 minutes.
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
While potatoes cook, add oil to a large pot. Add ground turkey and cook until no longer pink. Add onions and ground pepper and saute until onions are soft. About 10 minutes. Add next seven ingredients and cook uncovered about 15 minutes. Sauce will be thick and will have reduced a bit. At this stage, add package of frozen peas and carrots. Cook for about 5 minutes more and take off heat. Add meat mixture to an 8 1/2 x 11 baking dish.

Drain and mash potatoes with butter and milk or cream and season with salt and pepper.
Add mashed potatoes to top of meat mixture and with a spatula or back of a spoon, spread evenly over the top to cover all the meat. Using the tines of a fork, make hash marks over all the potatoes. What you want are little peaks that will easily brown in the oven.
Place in oven and cook for about 30 minutes. Your pie will be bubbling and lightly browned.

Voila! You are ready to enjoy with a simple green salad.

February 2, 2009

Blueberry Pie Scones

On a recent trip to visit our long time friends in North Carolina, our charming hostess who happens to be a wonderful cook, made some very tasty scones which inspired me to create this sweet adaptation to her scone recipe. Cherry pie filling would be yummy as well.
If you can get some English Devon Cream/Clotted Cream to serve with your scones, then you are sure in for a treat.
Enjoy with a cup 0f hot tea of your choice.
At the moment, my favorite tea is the Choco Nut Green Tea from http://www.teavana.com/
All I can say is try it. You will love it!

Blueberry Pie Scones
Yield 8 wedges

2 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
3 tbsp white sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
5 tbsp cold unsalted butter cubed
zest of 1 lemon
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup blueberry pie filling
1 tsp turbinado cane sugar or sugar in the raw

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Add first 6 ingredients to a mixing bowl. Using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour until you get a crumbly mixture. Add cream and pie filling to your flour mixture and stir together until the wet ingredients are combined. Roll out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until all loose flour is mixed in. Once mixture has come together, place dough onto a lightly greased cookie sheet and pat into a 9 inch circle. The dough should be about an inch thick. Sprinkle the turbinado sugar over the top and press lightly so that sugar adheres. Cut into 8 wedges and separate so that they are not touching.
Place in oven for about 12-14 minutes. Toothpick will come out clean and scones will be lightly browned in color.